Campaign: Global Citizen News

Safe Water for Punta Santiago in Puerto Rico

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Punta Santiago is the first community in Puerto Rico with this system.

The Punta Santiago community in Humacao, Puerto Rico, which got media attention after Hurricane Maria for scribbling on the streets a ‘S.O.S. we need water/food’ message, last week received a water filtration system that can be powered by either solar energy or a windmill. The machine was installed on the grounds of the local nonprofit Programa de Educación de Entrega y Servicio (P.E.C.E.S.).

With the SunSpring™ water filtration system, P.E.C.E.S. will be able to produce up to 5,000 gallons of clean, safe and microbial-free drinking water every day. This equates to about 38,000 half-liter bottles (16oz). The system, designed and manufactured by Innovative Water Technologies in Colorado, was donated by the Rotary Club through its global H2OpenDoors program, and is the first of its kind in Puerto Rico.

"This equipment is a first step to develop community sustainability systems for Punta Santiago, which in the future may include wells, rainwater harvesting or seawater processing, all using renewable energy," said José Javier Oquendo, P.E.C.E.S.’ president. "We thank the H2OpenDoors program for considering us for this project," he added.

Innovative Water Technologies technicians traveled from Colorado to install the first part of the equipment in December. In January, Jon Kaufman, of H2OpenDoors, and Jack E. Barker, from Innovative Water Technologies, installed the bottling segment of the machine. They also visited other communities that might benefit from the SunSpring.

P.E.C.E.S. will design a water access plan for the neighborhood aligned with its sustainability efforts and service strategy. Watch the SunSpring water filtration machine in Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico, after hurricane Maria.

About P.E.C.E.S.

P.E.C.E.S. (Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio) provides prevention services, education and entrepreneurial training to communities in Puerto Rico’s southeastern region to foster socioeconomic development for the residents in the area.

Founded in 1985, it has been guided by participatory, self-sustained and community-based processes, for people to achieve their personal and collective development goals. It started in Punta Santiago, Humacao, serving some 5,000 residents. With time, it has expanded services throughout the eastern region, so that more communities can build the development they need.

Among the programs available in P.E.C.E.S. are: the Center for Social Work, Counseling and Psychological Therapy; the Juvenile Leadership Development Center; the P.E.C.E.S. Alternative High School; and the Support Center for Community Economic and Business Development.

After Hurricane Maria, the organization has partnered with the non-profit Voz Activa for the creation of a Community Sustainability Center. For more information visit: www.pecesinc.org, or PECES, Inc on Facebook.

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